TVD Live: Deer Tick at the 9:30 Club, 10/16

When John McCauley, lead singer and guitarist of the indie rock band Deer Tick, first walked onto the stage of the 9:30 Club on Sunday night carrying his own personal six-pack of Flying Dog IPA, it was pretty clear we were all in for a real good time.

The band opened their set with a bang and “The Bump,” the first track on their new album Divine Providence, to be released on October 25th. Donning loose-fitting suits complete with bow ties and well-worn Chuck Taylors, the band looked a bit like hobos as they swayed to and fro, with a beer in one hand and an instrument in the other.

The imbibing continued when McCauley said, “We will now play a song by our favorite beer drinkers!”, at which point the band erupted into a loud and fast cover of The Replacement’s “Bastards of Young,” registering loud and fast reactions from the audience. Later in the set, a fan climbed up on stage, did a brief jig and then jumped back into the audience. “That’s what we like to see!”, McCauley said. This prompted multiple fans to come on stage for the next few songs, as the band played in succession a few of their own tracks as well as some bouncy rock covers of things like Hank Williams’ “Move It On Over.”

But the band’s talent was most self-evident when they were playing their original material. McCauley’s voice has a light, boyish lilt to it that complimented slower, solo songs like “Houston, Texas” and registered as an adorably approachable snarl in tracks with a more rock n roll edge. Rob Crowell’s keyboard and saxophone playing lended a ’60s gospel/motown vibe to these upbeat songs, giving them a more classic feel.

When an hour and a half had passed, all the beer had been drunk, guitar strings had been pulled loose, fans were climbing and leaping to and from the stage, and McCauley had sustained some kind of scratch on his forehead from all of the chaos; thus, there was only one song left to play, and that was “Let’s All Go to the Bar.” Cheering and fist-pumping ensued (this reviewer included) and was a perfect way to end the show on a high note that was certainly well worth the hangover the next day.

Photos by Ryan Ford

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